This first picture is of the road outside our house, taken in 2003. The line of Norway Spruce trees are bigger and darker now, and the Leyland Cypress even more huge and casting more shade than ever. Under the spruce trees can be seen some leaves of irises, presumably planted there before the trees changed their conditions completely, and I would guess fifty years ago. Their rhizomes were buried deep underneath years and years of compacted spruce needles, and of course they couldn’t flower.
Two years ago, I managed to dig out the rhizomes which were mostly huge, separated them and planted them close together, practically on the surface, in sunny beds to the south side of the house. Last year, they remained alive and produced a few leaves to replace the ones that I had cut back to a fan shape. Now here they are flowering at last. It just shows what a remarkable storage vessel a rhizome is. I have no idea which of the bearded irises this might be.